HC Deb 10 May 1934 vol 289 cc1240-2

asked the Minister of Health if he possesses any statistics showing the number of tenant-owners of houses in slum-clearance areas who have been deprived both of their home and their living without compensation; and whether he can take steps to ensure sympathetic treatment of these cases?

The MINISTER of HEALTH (Sir Hilton Young)

No, Sir. The question for consideration in assessing compens- ation is the condition of the house, so that no distinction can be drawn between tenant owners and other owners of houses in slum-clearance areas. Local authorities have, however, power under Section 41 of the Housing Act, 1930, to pay allowances towards expenses of removal or loss resulting from disturbance of trade or business, and I have already brought this Section to their express notice.


Can the right hon. Gentleman give us any examples of the amount of compensation which has been paid by local authorities, and is it not so low as to impose a hardship?


Of course I can give the hon. Member examples if he will give me an opportunity.


Is the right hon. Gentleman not aware that some authorities are administering the Act much more harshly than others, including Sheffield, and in such a way that very great hardships are being caused not only to small owners but to shop-keepers, who are being compelled to close their business without reasonable compensation or an opportunity of obtaining other business premises? Does he not think it necessary and wise to give local authorities more definite guidance and make it quite clear that the Government would deprecate any action that did not carry out the spirit of the Act?


asked the Minister of Health whether, in the case of notices issued in connection with the demolition of slum-clearance property, the statutory notices to owners, lessees, and others that their property is condemned are sent by registered post; and, if not, what guarantee have the authorities applying for the slum-clearance order that the property owners interested have been properly notified in ample time?


Yes, Sir. Notices sent by post are required by the Act to be sent by registered post.


Has it not yet dawned upon the Minister that in all these attempts to re-house the people of this country, this Government has made a gigantic failure?

Viscountess ASTOR

Will Mr. Speaker remind the hon. Member of the efforts of the last Government?


This is the great Government, the one with the great majority.

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